Home Selling Tips: 4 Steps to Decluttering with Kids

The number one recommendation that real estate experts offer when asked about home selling tips is simple: declutter. Getting rid of excess belongings will make your home appear larger and more inviting, which often translates to selling faster and for more money.

But if you’ve got kids in the house, decluttering often seems like a monumental task, if not an impossibility. Between toys, video games, clothes, shoes, papers, and art supplies, kid stuff seems to take over the house, and if you’ve got more than one child, the “stuff” seems to multiply exponentially.

But decluttering is essential and important, so follow these simple steps, and house hunters will hardly know that children live there.

  1. Go through everything and get rid of broken toys and outgrown clothes. Be prepared, because this is a big task, but well worth it in the end. You’re not going to want to take these things with you anyway, so why not do it now and reap the benefit? The several garbage bags full of stuff you’ll take out of the house will motivate you to keep going too.
  2. Pick out one weeks worth of clothing and put the rest in storage bins. Remember, it’s only temporary, and putting extra clothing away will free up closet and drawer space to hide other items.
  3. Put half (or more) of the toys that are left in storage containers. Take these and the ones with clothing and put them in a storage unit or ask to use some space in a nearby friend or family member’s garage. Things will be close by if the children get tired of wearing the same things or miss some of their other toys. You can easily swap them out for different ones.
  4. Invest in double-duty furnishings. When someone wants to see the house, you never want to say no. So if your house is a mess, you want to have places you an easily stash toys and clutter. Think about getting a coffee table with some sort of built in drawers or storage in it for the living room. A bench with a lift-up seat by the door can hold shoes, hats, and other things that get dropped by the entryway. And a toybox with a lid can make cleaning up bedrooms fast and easy. There’s a little bit of a financial investment for these items, but remember they will be going with you to your new home, and you can put them to good use there.

Decluttering with children in the house is definitely a challenge, but it is possible. If you’re trying to sell your house, it’s well worth the effort. For more tips on selling your home, contact us.

BRRR… It’s Cold Out There! Sell Your Home Before Winter

Ah, winter… Snow, sleet, and slush is on its way and this is when you’ve decided to sell your home! Well, not all is lost. It might be a little more difficult to sell your home before winter, but it isn’t impossible.

When flowers aren’t blooming, and the lawn is withered and brown, your house loses some of the curb appeal that draws in buyers. You’ll need to replace that curb appeal with something, so this is the time to get creative. Pinterest offers boards with lots of inspirational photos of homes with great winter curb appeal. At the very least, hang a welcoming winter wreath on your door and put out a nice, new welcome mat for visitors to wipe their feet.

Once potential buyers are inside, greet them with the warm, homey scent of something yummy baking. You can achieve this without the baking mess (or the calories!) by using a great scented candle in a candle warmer. Scatter appropriately scented candles throughout your home for a subtle ‘welcome home’ to every area. How about the scents of freshly fallen rain in the bathroom or fluffy, warm towels in the laundry?

Invest in whatever you need to keep things organized and neat around your house. This is particularly important around the entryways. If potential buyers see a mess of muddy boots, slushy puddles, and tangles of mittens and scarves, they’re going to assume your home lacks storage. Instead, greet them with large, pretty baskets and a boot tray with all the mess tucked neatly away.

Finally, understand that you’ll be better off getting your home sold before the depths of winter. That might mean accepting a lower offer than you wanted, paying closing costs, or agreeing to make repairs. The alternative is keeping your home in showable condition in the face of slush, mud, holidays, winter break, housebound pets… 

Let us help you sell your home before the depths of winter; contact us now to find out how.

Curb Appeal: Crucial for Home Selling

The first impression may be the only impression a prospective buyer has. If they don’t like the way your home looks from the outside or immediately upon entering, they may cross it off the list of possibilities. Therefore curb appeal is crucial. In the fall and winter it can be more difficult to provide an appealing exterior. Consider the following home selling tips to improve curb appeal during these seasons.


Continue to maintain the lawn even in the fall and winter. Keep the grass cut, clear the leaves, and sweep the walkways. Remove the dying summer flowers and replenish mulch to make gardens look like they are ready to be planted in the spring. If it snows be sure to clear the snow from your driveway and all walkways.


While it is OK to decorate for the upcoming holidays remember less is more. Choose a few items but don’t over do it. You want the prospective buyer to envision a home they could live in. If they aren’t excited about inflatable turkeys they may be turned off to your house based on the 3 you have in your front yard. It is best to use outdoor decorations that are inspired by nature as opposed to those that are commercial in appearance. Potted mums are a simple choice that will add color without being overwhelming.


The daylight hours are shorter. It is important your home is well-lit so prospective buyers can find it. A well-lit home will also be more appealing. While you are inspecting the lighting outside your home also verify that your house number can be clearly seen from the road.

Taking the above steps will make your home more appealing in the fall and winter months. For additional home selling tips please contact us.

5 Home Selling Tips to Help Sell Your Home

Real estate in Connecticut and most of the country has experienced a dramatic upswing. Now just might be the ideal time to sell your home for top dollar. Here are a few home selling tips that are sure to help make your house marketable and clear a path for a quick sale.

  1. De-clutter — If you have made the decision to sell, then it’s time to start packing and de-clutter your home. A cluttered residence does not show well. You want your house to appear spacious to any would-be buyers so packing up personal items is an ideal way to make your home more appealing to home shoppers. You may want to consider hiring a professional home stager to make sure your truly house shines.
  2. Time of Year — The time of year you decide to sell might impact how quickly your house sells. Connecticut often experiences extremely cold winters which can slow the house selling market. Buyers often don’t like to acquire family homes during the school season. Spring and summer are the most popular months to sell a single family residence.
  3. Flexibility — Always be flexible to a would-be buyer’s schedule. Often buyers give little or no notice when they want to view your home, so always have the residence in tip-top shape and ready to show.
  4. Know the Market — Familiarize yourself with the local market and use an agent that knows what homes are moving in your area. You want to price your home right so it attracts buyers and brings in offers quickly.  Your agent will present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that will give you a good idea what local homes are selling for and how quickly. The CMA provides you with an idea of what your home is realistically worth.
  5. Curb Appeal — Many buyers do a drive by before they schedule an appointment to see a home’s interior. Make sure that the residence’s exterior shines and the landscape looks well-kept.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us. Thanks.

Home Selling Tips: A Properly Staged Kitchen Sells Homes Quicker


staging tips

Highlighting your home’s strong points (and downplaying the weak ones) to a potential buyer is important to making sure that it sells quickly. People shopping for a new home will be looking for particular things in every room, and it can be difficult to please everyone. But one room that can make or break a sale is the kitchen, the center and heart of everyone’s household. Having a warm, bright and inviting (oh, and somewhat modern) kitchen will speed up the sale of your home dramatically.


Here are some basic tips to stage your kitchen:

1.) Keep if functional

 People looking to buy a new home want to see a kitchen that is ready and waiting for their family, so you’ll want to make sure that everything functions as it should by keeping drawers workable and smooth, fixing those floor tiles, and so on. No one wants to fix a problem the day they move in.

Recent Staging Project

*All photos are from a Manter Realty Group staging at 55 mckenzie ave, South Meriden, CT

2.) Focus on the details

Not everyone is going to be able to run out and buy brand new appliances, granite counter tops, etc, when they stage their house (that’s for the new house!) But what you can do is add a fresh coat of paint, some new hardware on the drawers and doors, and perhaps some new lighting fixtures. You’ll be surprised at how much the little things help to sell your house.

Recent Staging Project

*All photos are from a Manter Realty Group staging at 55 mckenzie ave, South Meriden, CT

3.) Tidy Up

During the selling process you are going to want to keep your kitchen clean, uncluttered and move-in ready. Homebuyers are going to be looking for things that stick out to them, and too much stuff on the counter, an inordinate amount of magnets or pictures on the fridge, and old sink rags or sponges lying around won’t help your cause. The more organized the space is, the more potential buyers will see, and the quicker it’ll sell.

Recent Staging Project

*All photos are from a Manter Realty Group staging at 55 mckenzie ave, South Meriden, CT


Ready to sell your house? Want more tips on how we can help you properly stage all the rooms in your home for a quick and easy sale? Please contact us (860-716-2227) any time.


The Importance of Home Staging.

home staging

Selling your home can be an emotional time. You may be selling a house that’s been in your family for decades or a house you spent years fixing up. You may not want to sell, but need to due to life changes.

Emotions and home selling go hand in hand. But keep in mind, it’s also a business transaction; one of the biggest in your life.  You’re selling an item another person wants to buy; and it’s expensive.

Compare it to visiting a car dealership.  Admit it, you’re automatically drawn to the new, shiny cars with clean, uncluttered interiors. You’ll most likely test drive one and may even figure out a way to move forward with the purchase.

Well, why not give your house the same type of service? Make your house clean, shiny and uncluttered to attract buyers. Check out a recent blog I wrote about picking paint color and why color matters. Granted, a house is larger than a car. It’s a much bigger job to clean and declutter. But you need to make it as desirable as possible to get the best price and the fastest sale. And that’s where home staging can help.

According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, homes staged by professionals can sell 95% faster than non-staged homes. The selling price can also be increased by thousands.

The cost of a professional home stager varies according to location and services. For example, a consultation only will be less expensive than having your entire house staged by a professional. You can decide what you can afford and what you’re able and willing to do on your own.

Home stagers can also help relieve stress from what can be a stressful time. By letting someone else help with making your house look resistible, you can focus on packing and other details involved with moving.

Contact me, Michelle Manter Giglietti or visit my home staging tip section on my blog for more ideas on preparing your home for sale. And remember that Home staging services are free to all my clients who list with me!


3 Basic Steps in Choosing the Perfect Room Color

paint color 2

So you’ve found the perfect home. The price was right, the size and layout were right, but the color the previous owners used for the living room walls makes you choke. You probably already have a good idea of how you want to live, and how you want to feel in your rooms. Many new homeowners are a little afraid of color, especially after living in apartments with stark white walls for many years. Choosing the right color becomes less fun and more of a chore. But it doesn’t have to be.

So how do you choose the right color to fix that living room so you can live there comfortably? The following three easy “do it yourself (DIY)” tips will help you avoid huge investments of paint in colors that just don’t work for you.

Color psychology

  1. Mood and room use – Think about these things first. Do you want the room to be peaceful and calm after a busy day? Or would you rather have something that energizes you and the kids to have more fun? Choose calm and peaceful light blues or creamy yellows. Or brighter, warmer colors for more energy.
  2. Lighting – Lighting can change colors. Natural light from a window will give you the truest color. But if you spend a lot of time in the room with artificial light, keep in mind that incandescent bulbs tend to shed warm, yellow light. Flourescent bulbs tend to shift everything toward the blue side. This can be important, especially if you have colorful artwork. For more accurate colors, choose “daylight” bulbs for your lamps and sconces: these imitate that natural light from the window.
  3. Test your color choices – no matter what color you’ve chosen, it sometimes looks completely different when it is on the wall and dry. Decide on a few options and pick up small tester jars of the paint colors. Take large pieces of poster board and paint one with each color you are considering (remember to label it!). Then hang them in the room you want to paint and live with them for a week or so. Look at them at different times of day and under different lights.

Following these three tips will give you a good chance that your wall color will be exactly what you want it to be. But even if it isn’t (you may find that you actually wanted calm when you thought you wanted energetic, after all), remember that changing paint color on the walls is one of the easiest and least expensive decorating changes you can do. And it can change the entire look of your home!

If you’re ready for new walls to go under that paint, contact me for real estate opportunities in the Connecticut area.

Home Selling Tips: Making Your Home Shine for Buyers.

home staging

Your home must be available for showings at all times.  One inconvenience and you have lost a customer–a customer who could have purchased your home.  When showing off your home make sure you keep to basics.  These home selling tips are crucial for success.

Turn on the lights—even if it’s the middle of the day.  Lights are a cheery and open invitation to come in.  Rooms become spacious and appealing.  Every buyer that walks in during the day will see everything without harsh sunlight shadows and dim areas.  Viewing it from the street at night, turning on lights brings a ‘home’ atmosphere.  Keeping the light on day and night also keeps your home secure.  Vandals won’t steal anything or damage your property because it gives off the impression that someone is home.  Open up windows during the day to bring natural light in.  Give dark rooms an extra lamp to open it up more.

Use natural fragrances to make the home smell good.  Perfect examples are potpourri and food smells.  Sprays and perfumes may smell good to you, but it may smell bad to the buyer.  On top of that, buyers may be allergic to those perfumes and sprays.  If you’re using food to attract buyers, you have to deliver.  If they smell cookies, for example, the buyer expects cookies on a table to eat.

Keep it comfortable.  Making the home feel too hot or too cold is a distraction to buyers.  It has to feel shirtsleeve comfortable.

Get pets and children out of the house.  If you can’t take your pet with you during a showing, keep them fenced in the backyard.  Not all buyers are pet lovers.  Children should be out of the house because they are a distraction to some buyers.

Keep the house clean.  Sweep, pick up papers and empty the trash.  No one wants to walk in a dirty or smelly home.  A home with an odor makes it hard for buyers to concentrate on the home and turn them off completely.  Dirty homes make it look like someone lives there.  Most homes for show have no furniture or belongings in the home, so remove it.  If you haven’t found a place to put them yet, make it look like a model home.  A model home has furniture, but no one lives there.  However, that still requires cleaning up the place.  Walk though the house to make sure nothing else is out of place.

When the buyer is looking at the home with a realtor, don’t be at home.  Buyers will feel pressured to make a decision and be too scared to ask questions.  Buyers will not feel welcome, and the property will automatically be crossed off the buyer’s list.  There are too many homes for sale for buyers to put up with sellers watching their every move.  If you are showing off the home, don’t allow anyone else in the house.  They are a distraction to buyers.  Tell your family and friends that they can’t come to the house because you’re showing the home to a buyer.

Don’t overcrowd and get personal with buyers.  Buyers need space to look around, so give it to them.  Don’t hover where they are and cramp their style.  Don’t talk to buyers about home family history and home family events during showing.  Talk about the home and its features.  Promote the surrounding neighborhood and attractions.  Let them know about local schools and shopping areas.  Talk about amenities in the neighborhood.  Keep it professional and informational.


Trouble with Vacant Homes

           trouble with vacant homes

Today’s housing market makes it tougher to get the price for a home and, often, sellers can’t wait around while their homes are on the market. They may have a new job in a different location, may have already bought their next house or need to move to their new location so the kids can start at their  new schools.

If sellers already have a new home, it’s likely that they’ll take all their furniture and leave the property empty during selling process. The U.S. Census Bureau’s most current data shows that more than 2.2 million for-sale houses in the U.S. were vacant in 2008, and that number has risen over the last few years as more homes fell into foreclosure or short-sale status.

Yet it all comes down to perception for buyers, who understand that vacant homes can suffer from a wide variety of ills due to neglect and deferred maintenance. Moreover, vacant houses pose unique challenges for showcasing and selling because many buyers cannot see beyond an empty home. They’re looking to buy a “home,” as opposed to a “house,” and without furniture, wall art, rugs, lighting and décor, there are few emotional connections.

Plus, with no furnishing to focus on, a potential buyer will be on the lookout for imperfections, such as floor scratches, nail pops, chipped grout and other imperfections.

The easiest fix for a vacant home is to bring in a home stager, who can give the property a comfortable, lived-in look, enabling potential buyers to better visualize how they would use the home.

When a home buyer perceives flaws and can’t see a home’s potential, there will be fewer offers, greater price reductions, more days on the market, higher carrying costs and less profit.

A vacant home can also hurt your negotiating power. If buyers know that you are already out and most likely paying another mortgage, they will figure you are more motivated to sell and will likely present a low-ball offer.

By staging a vacant home, you will create a proper vision for the property and achieve a quicker and hopefully more profitable outcome.

Michelle Manter can be reached at 860-716-2227. Prudential Connecticut Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Home Staging Tips: Staying on Top of Rugs

Home Staging Tips  Staying on Top of Rugs

It may not be the first thing one thinks about when decorating for a sale, but the addition of rugs to a home can go a long way.

Rugs can help warm a dreary room, add a splash of color to a dull space, can tone down a room that already has strong and bright colored furniture, and create a new look to almost any room. Plus, it’s a quick fix to any floors that may need replacing.

While there are Persian rugs that can cost thousands of dollars, many rugs can be purchased for prices in the hundreds.

A leather rug can lend depth to rooms and complements traditional and rustic styles. Wool rugs are warm, sustainable, and a great way to add a natural accent to your home. Meanwhile shag rugs can add dimension to a flat room and are extra cozy.

If you anticipate lots of traffic and wear, consider a patterned rug that will tend to hide stains. Also, a wool rug is easier to clean than those of other fabrics.

Pricey oriental rugs are a great eye-catcher when someone comes to see a home. These should be kept out of direct sunlight or they will fade, and these rugs must be specially cleaned.

A jute rug is a perfect indoor/outdoor fabric for enclosed patios and outdoor rooms.

One quick and relatively inexpensive way to dress up a room is by adding area rugs, which come in a wide range of colors and designs. These rugs provide warmth and comfort and can help to absorb sound in a room.

The shape of the rug should mirror the furniture or the room size. For example, a rectangular dining table should have a rectangular rug underneath. Likewise, a round dining table should be paired with a round rug.

Interior designers say you should never cover the entire floor with an area rug; leave at least nine inches of the floor exposed. However, a small rug right in front of the entry door is acceptable.

In a dining room make sure your rug is large enough to accommodate the legs of all chairs. As a guide, your rug should extend 24 inches from the edge of the table to the edge of the rug.

Also be sure your rugs don’t cover floor vents or keep doors from opening. Finally, for safety, avoid placing rugs so that traffic patterns have people walking along carpet edges where they can catch a toe or heel.

Colorful rugs, placed correctly, can give your home a distinctive look and added dimension that potential buyers will remember.

Michelle Manter can be reached at 860-716-2227. Prudential Connecticut Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Avoid These 8 Staging Mistakes

Avoid These 8 Staging Mistakes

You may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves and, in doing so, create mistakes that can actually sidetrack the sale of their homes.

Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to professional home stager’s.

1. Getting too personal: Home staging is meant to create a neutral canvas that will appeal to the majority of buyers. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. This is not the time to bring in your unique style and create a look that appeals to just you.

2. Using dark colors: If painting, you should choose a nice, neutral and warm color, such as beige tones, grey tones, or light blue or pale greens. You’ll be amazed at the transformation a few coats of fresh paint will make on your home.

3. Not taking advantage of natural light: People love natural light, so blocking off any light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale, especially if the home has attractive views. Anything dated in a home is a turn-off to a potential buyer and window treatments are one of them.

4. Thinking more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room and the other furniture in it. Remember that the purpose of furniture when selling a home is to define the purpose of the room and to show what will fit where. It is not meant to show that you can provide seating for 15 in your living room and every seat has a side table to rest drinks on.

5. Leaving pets at home: You need to remove all traces of animals from the house and make sure “Fido” or “Sunshine” is away during showings. Having a pet could kill a sale before someone even steps into a house.

6. Neglecting the outside: People care about the outside space just as much as the inside, so add flowers, make sure the lawn is mowed, the yard is tidy and add a few backyard accessories for the kids.

7. Only dealing with “main” rooms: People are quick to stage living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but don’t forget to spruce up the garage, basement and closets as well.

8. Forgetting fixtures: When staging a home, it’s important to ensure all lights are burning with fresh bulbs, and that all fixtures are working.

Remember, staging a home means showcasing the property’s many features, not concealing its flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in the best light.


Michelle Manter can be reached at 860-716-2227. Prudential Connecticut Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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